Psst, Guys! I'm Starting my Business!

Yep - it’s official. Moriah Hounsell Photography is going full time!

So this might be a misleading statement - I’ve been shooting portraits, weddings, and events for years! How am I just now starting my business?

 
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This is an act of getting my intentions out in the world. Until very recently, I really only saw myself as an amateur. Because of that, I never really pushed myself to be more than just that. If I never say I’m a professional, I’m not going to disappoint anyone if my work isn’t perfect.

But I do want to be a professional. I want to (and do) push myself at every.single.shoot. to make my work better. What was holding me back was fear - fear of being a fraud, fear of making people unhappy, fear of not knowing if I could run my own business. But that fear wasn’t making me not want to be a photographer - it was holding me back from even trying. How can I improve my work if I’m not constantly practicing? How will I know how people will respond to what I have to offer if I don’t put it out there?

I loved this quote from Cathy Heller’s Don’t Keep your Day Job podcast: “If you are not constantly making mistakes as an artist, you are dying.” It’s true that if I’m not striving to improve, if I am ever settling with only taking the safe shots, I’m doing you a disservice. I am always looking to push the limits during our photoshoots and am willing to take risks, so why shouldn’t I do the same for my business? If I’m not willing to try and share my work with the world, I’m not living my best life.

Why am I sharing all this? Because my goal is for my work to be honest. One thing I’ve learned is that energy is reciprocal - the energy I put into a session is the energy I get in return. If I’m not laughing and having fun at photo session, neither are my clients, which results in stiff, unloved photos. My goal is to connect with every single person who hires me to photograph them, so not only are they getting amazing pictures they want to print, hang on the wall, and cherish for a lifetime, they’re also getting a fun and bonding experience in the process.

I’m not photographing a static object, I’m photographing you, and you are so complex and interesting. What I see and connect to is what I document and create, so I need to connect with every person in order to document their true selves. If you walk away from a session and didn’t feel a real connection with me, I have failed you. Plain and simple.

 
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So, in the spirit of being open, here is my intention for this year:

I will book 20 weddings with fun, thoughtful couples who want real, meaningful photographs that they will be proud to show their grandkids one day.

To accomplish this, I will be chronicling an inside look at my REAL life as a wedding photographer while currently working a 9 to 5 job. I will share tips to engaged couples who don’t have a background in event planning (ie, most of us!) to help with everything from what questions are worth asking to how to approach putting such a big day together. Because if I’m not willing to put myself out there, why should you?

Will I do everything perfectly? Hell no. But my goal is not to be perfect. In the great words of Shia LaBeouf, my goal is to “JUST DO IT.” To connect with all sorts of people I would have never met before. To help guide them through a stressful and amazing time in their lives. And above all else, make sure we’re all having fun doing it. Anyone can be a photographer, but only I can be me.

So here’s to the start of my new business! I hope to get to know all of you and maybe even document your awesome selves in a meaningful way. Any words of advice out there from you business savvy folks? I’m happy to hear your thoughts!